FindMyTaxi wins Cape Town transport hackathon

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FindMyTaxi, which aims to create an Uber-like experience for minibus taxis, was last weekend named the winner of a Cape Town hackathon aimed at creating solutions to improve the use of public transport.

The hackathon was hosted by the Bandwidth Barn, KAT-O, WhereIsMyTransport and Women in Tech, and formed part of the Global Public Transport Hackathon Series.

Teams entered in four categories, namely Integrated Mobility, Healthy Mobility, Inclusive Mobility and Future Mobility. FindMyTaxi was named the overall winner, earning an all-expenses paid trip to the 62nd UITP Global Public Transport Summit later this year in Montreal,

The solution aims to provide an Uber-like experience for minibus taxi users and make off-peak taxi operations more efficient. It connects drivers, passengers, the WhereIsMyTransport platform and a chatbot, allowing users to receive real-time information about upcoming taxis and drivers to be notified of demand.

“I’ve been dreaming of this day, and this hackathon, for a long time. When I moved to Cape Town, I gave up my car. I wanted to be able to live without it. I’m so glad that we’ve had the opportunity to create something that can help others do the same,” said Emma Phiri of FindMyTaxi.

The winner of the Integrated Mobility category was Team Mobz, a social platform that encourages groups to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, while the Healthy and Inclusive Mobility categories were both won by GoWell, which features tips and tricks for staying safe on public transport and allows riders to anonymously report incidents.

The Implementation Readiness Prize was won by Rydr, while Whizzherd won the Best Design Prize. Microsoft invested in the event as part of its business strategy and commitment to changing lives through partnerships and development initiatives.

“It is through the use of the data gathered by WhereIsMyTransport that we, as active corporate citizens, are able to address some of the real challenges faced in our public transport sector,” said Riedwaan Bassadien, open source lead at Microsoft SA.

“The use of data, and open data for that, has the potential to assist and guide the transformation of all sectors. Innovative solutions developed by participating hackers has a vast potential to be tapped for the benefit of people, business and the economy.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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